UK VOD TV review: The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 14
Neil Brazier | On 17, Mar 2015
“You wanted a future, you need us for that,” says Maggie (Lauren Cohan) to Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) and never has that been more true.
Spend (Episode 14) looks at how the survivors fit into Alexandria and their new roles: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) as the cop on the street, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) as a labourer and Glenn (Steven Yeun) as a supply runner. Each survivor must deal with the Alexandria residents and each face their own consequences.
After the last two episodes, Spend increases the pace and brings back the tension, as one group takes a trip beyond the walls in search of a part to help bring Alexandria’s power grid back online. How things have changed for our survivors, worrying about power, air conditioning and now killing walkers with bullets. Before the walls, ammunition was a luxury they could scarcely afford, but it seems Alexandria’s supply has them ditching hand to withered hand combat, choosing to shoot over stab.
Since guns aren’t permitted outside of storage behind the walls, the stocks should be higher than we’re used to, the Alexandria residents living in almost paradise. This is still a foreign concept to the survivors, though, especially Carol (Melissa McBride), who, after finding Sam rummaging through her cupboards in search for his next cookie fix, is told that his power is out and his statue is broken. “These aren’t problems,” Carol snaps, as the gulf between the two groups is exposed. Carol continues to stand out in Alexandria and her Stepford Wife becomes all too Lady Macbeth by the end of the episode, with shades of Lori, who used to whisper Rick instructions back in Season 2.
But Rick might have a problem within his own flock, when a still grief stricken Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) preaches to Deanna about Satan disguising himself as an angel of light. Although abundantly clear that Alexandria needs Rick’s group, Gabriel seems willing to throw his group under the bus. With this and Abraham taking over as foreman after an incident on site, is Alexandria at risk of being overshadowed or taken over?
Alexandria residents are happy to follow the mantra of “look after number one” and are happy to leave a man behind. This doesn’t sit well with the survivors and it’s up to them to quell the out-of-hand situations both groups outside the wall find themselves in.
The zombie attack scenes are a welcome shift away from the relative tranquillity of Alexandria; they produce some great contenders for Zombie Kill of the Week, which may have to go to Abraham and his choice of weapon. With the return of the tension, though, comes eventual tragedy – as well as some of the goriest scenes we have seen in a long time. They’re bloody and beautiful and, when survivors get trapped on either side of a revolving door, it brings such a brilliant dilemma that you’ll be wringing your hands with delighted fear.
Spend creates the tension and suspense that the show has been lacking this season and it does so right on time, with only two episodes left. The episode also treads lightly on the symbolism; instead, a song playing on the radio is more of a foreshadow. Upon the introduction of Alexandria, it looked as though it wouldn’t hold a candle to Woodbury or Terminus, but the relative safety and deeply troubled residents means it’s beginning to turn. While we knew about the Governor and the cannibals, not knowing about the residents here is becoming an even bigger fear. If Alexandria is to have a future, it’s going to need every survivor.
The Walking Dead: Season 5 is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.
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